I remember being very careful and pedantic when choosing my first aftermarket CPU cooler as well, and ended up buying a Nordwand from Alpenföhn. Great buy. A superb and silent tower cooler.
Having built a few systems after that, and planning to upgrade my current system, I've come to the conclusion that people who are new to self-building often read too much into things. This concearns CPU coolers as well ar RAM and other parts. In the essence, any reputable and generally well reviewed aftermarket cooler will do just fine - 2 dergees or dB higher or lower will never make a practical impact what so ever - just buy whichever cooler you damn well please. Same for RAM - it makes me laugh how I spent WEEKS sifting through various tech sites and data sheets looking for the ideal timings and compatability lists.
Then I realised that the fastest RAM has about a 1-2% performance advantage over the slowest versions. Hell, I play Crysis 2 on max detail with 4 GB of 667 MHz RAM - that should give you an idea of how little it matters.
To sum things up - a CPU cooler needs to cool you CPU. Any reputable cooler will to that just fine. Buy the prettiest or cheapest one - whichever is your priority.
PS - for my new (BD or SD, depends on how BD performs whenever the hell it comes out) build I've chosen the Zalman CNPS 9900 Max, just because it looks so damn "cool".
Is it a great cooler? Absolutely! Is it the best cooler? Absolutely not! Will it make a practial difference compared to the best cooler? Absolutely not!